Ask anybody walking around Dupont Circle or the Navy Yard, and it's obvious the Redskins need help at tight end and cornerback. That's clear even to the most casual fan.
On the offensive line, however, the Redskins are in real flux. Trent Williams held out all of last season and is in the process of negotiating a trade out of town, not to mention both starting guards in Brandon Scherff and Ereck Flowers could become free agents in nine days.
Redskins head coach Ron Rivera doesn't want to hear that.
"We’re going to try to bring both guards back,” Rivera said to Larry Michael on Redskins Nation.
Rivera's comments came during an interview in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine, and they provide important insight into the Redskins strategy this offseason, but signing Scherff and Flowers won't be cheap.
Plenty of reports have suggested Washington will use a franchise tag on Scherff if the team is unable to get a long-term deal done before free agency opens. Should Washington deploy the tag sources told NBC Sports Washington to expect a multi-year deal to get done because Scherff would prefer not to play on a one-year deal.
Scherff's deal will likely be framed by the franchise tag price for offensive linemen, which means an annual salary of $16 million. That's high, but he's quite good. He's also dealt with injuries in the last three seasons. Still, he seems like a high priority for Rivera in his first year on the job.
Trying to determine what Flowers' deal will look like is much harder to figure.
His first four years in the NFL, Flowers played tackle and largely struggled. When he signed in Washington last year, he moved to guard, and it mostly went well. The former Giants first-round pick played every snap for the Redskins offense in 2019, the only linemen to do so.
Flowers made $3.25 million last season on a one-year deal, and it seems reasonable to think he's at least looking for double that in 2020 on a multi-year contract. Maybe more. In fact, probably more.
Conservatively, to sign both Scherff and Flowers could cost the Redskins $23 million just for 2020 annual salaries, and that's not taking into account signing bonuses and other contractual incentives or machinations. On the high side, it could cost the Redskins north of $26 million to bring back Scherff and Flowers just for 2020.
For Rivera, it sounds like continuity on the offensive line is important even with high salaries.
“Once we get that situation figured out, we will have four of the five (starters) that we know what’s going to happen," he said. "Then again, the looming question will always be Trent."
While the Trent question looms, the Redskins could be actively trying to solve their guard situation. The team also drafted some depth last year with Wes Martin and Ross Pierschbacher, who can also play center.
Rivera might want both guards back, but that doesn't mean it will happen. The costs will be high, and the competition could be fierce. That's life in the NFL.
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